Clinical Research Papers:

Marital status independently predicts pancreatic cancer survival in patients treated with surgical resection: an analysis of the SEER database

Xiao-Dong Wang, Jian-Jun Qian, Dou-Sheng Bai, Zhen-Nan Li, Guo-Qing Jiang and Jie Yao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:24880-24887. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8467

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Xiao-Dong Wang1, Jian-Jun Qian1, Dou-Sheng Bai1, Zhen-Nan Li1, Guo-Qing Jiang1 and Jie Yao1

1 Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou University, Subei People’s Hospital of Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Jie Yao, email:

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, marital status, SEER, survival analysis

Received: November 28, 2015 Accepted: March 07, 2016 Published: March 29, 2016


Marital status is an independent prognostic factor for survival in several cancers. To determine if that is also true for pancreatic cancer after surgical treatment, we examined 13,370 cases of pancreatic cancer reported to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database between 1988 and 2012. We found that patients who were widowed at the time of diagnosis were more likely to be female, a high percentage were elderly, a high ratio were diagnosed in early years, and a high proportion of tumors were located at the head of the pancreas (P < 0.05). Marital status was confirmed to be an independent prognostic factor in both univariate and multivariate analyses (P < 0.05). In those with localized disease, 5-year pancreatic cancer cause-specific survival was 6.5% lower in widowed patients than married ones (38.6% vs. 32.1%), though this difference was not significant in a multivariate analysis (P = 0.084). In those with regional disease or distant metastasis, univariate and multivariate analyses indicated marital status to be an independent prognostic factor (P < 0.05). Thus marital status is an important prognostic factor in pancreatic cancer, and widowed patients are at greater risk of death than others.

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